Monday, March 30, 2009

Voyage of Discovery's "rules"rules of magic at RPGObjects

Just made a new post about the "rules" or "laws" of magic at RPGO. And do you notice that they're "rules" of magic and not rules of magic? Huh? Did you?

4 comments:

Walt said...

Just saw this over at RPGO. Very cool. Brings alot of the mystery and mayhem that should be associated with magic back to it. This is the kind of casting that is creepy and much more interesting than, "I have 4 slots for spells today... Magic Missle and 3 others..."

Regards,
Walt

AccidentalFraser said...

Interesting stuff. My one quibble would be with "invisible thoughts" vs. "physical world." Thoughts are physical, they are electrical impulses in select brain neurons. While the characters in the game wouldn't understand this, they likely wouldn't also understand that air is physical.

So this philosophy underlies the magic in Voyage of Discovery?

Chuck said...

Thoughts might be electrical impulses, but transmitting those impulses from mind to the next is not the sort of thing magic can do in Voyage of Discovery.

Whether or not its even possible is a question outside my field of knowledge. My sense is you'd be much more likely to just fry the other person's brain with electricity.

Now *that* you could do in the setting.

Also, when a character in the setting controls wind, he's not generating it, he's moving it from somewhere else.

There also wouldn't be any sort of "create water" spell or create anything for that matter. You might move something from a to b, but you aren't going to create it out of nothing.

But yes, these are the "rules" of magic in the setting.

Again emphasizing that as "rules" they are made to be broken, as opposed to Rules (like, say, how feats work).

In short, they can be broken with the game master's permission. I just feel it's important to lay down the law, so everyone KNOWS when the rules are being broken, to prevent Doctor Strange Syndrome.

Also, in case it's not clear, this is a sword and sorcery setting mixed with the Age of Enlightenment.

That's the reason I chose this particular set of rules. Changint the weather? Curing disease? Sure.

Channelling the spirits of the dead? Summoning demons? Making one person love another? These are things that even within the setting are rumors, if not outright superstition.

In short, I wanted magic to have a feedback loop with the developing sciences of the Age of Enlightenment, not something that nullifies them.

Chuck said...

Also, I think in a 19th century technological level the idea of air as a physical manifestation wouldn't be out of bounds.

You can feel air on your skin. Air can move a ship. Air can knock down a building if strong enough.

But if you were a player at my table, my response would be "You have no idea why it works that way. It just does. Perhaps in the future science will be able to explain it."

Of course, if your Academics were sufficiently high, that scientist might even be you.

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